When you told your friends and family you were going to university, they were probably brimming with pride. That is, of course, until you went on to explain that you’d chosen an art degree. In that one sentence, you went from a bright young thing to yet another millennial about to blow a fortune on a wasted education. Instead of basking in the glory of an educational glow, the chances are that you then spent the duration of your degree defending your choice. And, now, at the end of your journey, you’re worried everyone was right after all. It really does look like you won’t be able to earn back anywhere near as much as you spent on your lessons.

This can be a blow, and it can leave you in a great deal of debt. But, it’s crucial you don’t let the haters win. Art degrees deserve as much respect as any other higher education course. They can certainly more than pay for themselves if you do the following in your after-education life.

Learn that no degree is a wasted degree

This idea of a ‘wasted degree’ is ludicrous. It comes from the assumption that a degree is a waste unless you enter the field you studied. But, this is plain wrong. It’s also half of the reason students end up settling for retail jobs if their careers don’t get going. The reality is, though, that higher-education is an accolade in itself. Many employers want nothing more than proof you’ve done a degree. Proving that you have the stamina and mental capacity for study like that could see you advancing in a career straight off. So, never let anyone tell you you won’t get a job. Shout proud about your achievements, and you’re sure to be able to start paying those debts in no time.

Know which creative careers pay

Settling for any high paying job doesn’t suit everyone. You chose art for a reason, after all, and you may want to pursue a creative field. Despite popular belief, there are plenty of options which could pay your debts. Website design is now a considerable earner, for instance. Equally, paintings for commercial use could see you soaring. Even something like tattoo artistry guarantees work for years to come if you can afford things like stencil paper and a gun. The trick is to be practical while engaging your creative mind. Art can absolutely pay the bills if you approach it in the right way.

Don’t be afraid to go it alone

Even if you can’t settle into any existing career, you shouldn’t be afraid to go freelance. This is a fantastic option for creatives as it allows you to craft your own business using your skills.  Nowadays, it’s also a valid and common way to earn a living. It also brings the benefit of allowing you to start making the moment you graduate. Just like that, you’ll be able to start clearing your debt and proving everyone else wrong.

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